About SEN Legal
"Over 20 years experience of turning the impossible into possible."
SEN Legal has been operating for over 20 years as a national and highly specialised legal practice with an excellent reputation. We specialise in education law, in particular Special Educational Needs and Disability for children and young persons aged 0-25. Our services are offered throughout England and Wales so it does not matter where you are based.
We remain one of the most successful practices in this area of law and are extremely proud of our constant success rate of over 90% for the last decade. We do not perform any other type of law (property, wills, etc) so you can be reassured all of our Solicitors are expert in what they do. Many of our team also have personal experience of SEN and Disability so can understand your difficulties on a personal and professional level. SEN Legal was in fact set up by our Founder, Melinda Nettleton after struggling to obtain support for her own son who has special educational needs, 20 years ago.
We run approximately 200 Appeals to the SEND Tribunal every year. These vary from Refusal to Assess appeals, to obtaining ABA provision in a mainstream school, to obtaining very expensive independent specialist placements. We act on behalf of parents, grandparents, guardians, carers and the young person against Local Authorities (LA) and occasionally Universities and Independent Schools to resolve whatever problem you have, big or small.
Perhaps your Local Authority are not providing the provision in your child’s EHC Plan, or they have failed to stick to the legal timeframe when issuing an EHC Plan, SEN Legal can easily resolve this for you via Judicial Review. Judicial Review is a useful way of making Local Authorities including Social Services, do what they are supposed to do. This could save months of negotiation with your LA.
In addition to all types of SEND Tribunal Appeals, we also run Disability Discrimination Claims under the Equality Act 2010, including the recovery of independent school/tuition fees under Section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. We also assist parents, grandparents, guardians and carers in cases involving Social Care, including Direct Payments, Respite or Care Proceedings.
For young persons approaching, or adults over 18, SEN Legal can also help you to obtain Deputyship Orders for both Property and Finance & Health and Personal Welfare. Deputyship is applied for in the Court of Protection where a young person lacks or has lost capacity (for example through illness). For those who do have capacity, we can assist with helping you to obtain a Power of Attorney for both Property and Finance & Health and Personal Welfare to safeguard your future.
We strive to always use our knowledge and experience to achieve
the very best solution for our clients. We can help.
More about our founder, Melinda Nettleton:
Melinda Nettleton qualified as a solicitor in 1980 working initially for a Local Authority and subsequently as a Senior Crown Prosecutor for 18 years. She established SEN Legal in 1999 in response to a situation she faced personally, whilst obtaining a Statement of Special Educational Needs for her own son. Having secured the correct educational support at that time, he then went on to obtain a First at degree level. This just goes to show what can be achieved with the right level of support.
SEN Legal founder, Melinda Nettleton.
In 2015, Melinda co-wrote ‘Special Needs and Legal Entitlement‘ – a comprehensive guide to the legal rights of children and young people with special educational needs.
The 2nd Edition was released late 2017 and remains the only book of its kind for parents who are struggling to navigate the SEN system and want a comprehensive yet parent-friendly guide.
This guide, helps parents to understand the legal entitlements of their child, and includes all the most recent developments in law, clearly explaining the key issues in a complex system. It explains what an Education, Health and Care Plan is, how assessments are carried out, and how SEND Tribunals work in practice.